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Athlete Wardrobe Malfunctions

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2014

Athlete Wardrobe Malfunctions

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    You want to know what I find embarrassing? Getting caught with your zipper down or wearing a shirt that's misspelled.

    And while it sucks for anyone, when something like that happens to a pro athlete it's a hell of a lot more humiliating, considering there are millions of people who see it.

    I don't mean to poke fun—well, yeah I do—so here are a few instances of athlete wardrobe malfunctions to remind you to always triple-check yourself.

Jeff Francoeur

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    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    With one of the more difficult last names to spell in sports, current Cleveland Indians player Jeff Francoeur was the victim of a misspelled last name in 2007 while still playing for the Atlanta Braves.

    And seeing how the outfielder went 0-for-4 with a punch-out, I'm sure he couldn't wait to take this jersey off his back.

Mike Alstott

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    Reinhold Matay

    At first glance, one might think that this was a major gaffe by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    I mean, really, during the jersey retirement of former fullback Mike Alstott, did the Bucs really spell his name wrong and then place it under glass?

    In fact, this was to honor Alstott from an error the team had made during his first season with the club, as he wore a misspelled jersey for two games before realizing the mistake.

    Props to the Bucs—and Alstott—for having a sense of humor.

Olga Graf

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    This one was oh so close.

    After winning the bronze medal in front of her home fans at this year's Olympics, speedskater Olga Graf simply had a brain fart, nearly unzipping her uniform down to her waist as she waved to the crowd's applause.

    It almost became one of her most embarrassing moments, though, as Olga forgot that she was nude beneath that uniform and had nearly popped out a couple boobs—which may or may not have gotten a bigger ovation.

Paul Pierce

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    One of the most feared defenders in the league during his heyday, former baller Ron Artest used a variety of tactics to shut down an opposing team's best player.

    While still playing for the Indiana Pacers in 2007, Artest tried something that no basketball coach would recommend—pantsing Paul Pierce.

    While it may have slowed Pierce down, it didn't contain him, as he promptly pulled the shorts back up and drilled a trey in Artest's face.

Adam Riggs

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    Steve Grayson/Wire Image

    You've got to feel for a guy like Adam Riggs.

    As a journeyman utility player, Riggs is the type of guy fans like to rally behind, as he worked his way all the way up to the major leagues for a few seasons, earning a brief 61-game career.

    But the team embroiderer must not have had as much love for the guy, as he was seen wearing a jersey that had "Angees" on the chest, making him stand out and probably leaving him feeling less like a pro ballplayer.

Wayne Gretzky

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Believe it or not, misspellings even happen to the great ones.

    In fact, it happened to "The Great One," as the legendary Wayne Gretzky had his name misspelled on the back of his New York Rangers sweater while playing in the Big Apple during the twilight of his career.

    By spelling his name "Gretkzy," the team made him appear more Russian than Canadian.

Michael Jordan

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    As I said in the previous slide with Wayne Gretzky, jersey mistakes happen to the great ones, too.

    And while Michael Jordan wore No. 12 for a game back in 1990 against the Orlando Magic because someone stole his usual No. 23, it was weird as hell seeing him march out there wearing it—with no last name on the back, no less.

    It didn't seem to faze him, though, as Jordan did what he typically did—score, a lot—dropping 49 points in an overtime loss.

Ricky Berens

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    Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

    Crack kills!

    That's what fans were screaming during the World Championships in 2009 when American swimmer Ricky Berens' suit split down the back, exposing his behind to everyone watching—and everyone with an Internet connection to see it afterward.

    The good news is that the little mishap didn't hurt his performance, as the U.S. won the heat and qualified for the finals despite being the butt of jokes.

Ryan Zimmerman

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    Charles Dharapak

    This one is just bad, as it wasn't just Ryan Zimmerman who found he was playing for the "Natinals" and not the Nationals during a 2009 game.

    That's because Majestic Athletic—who made the jerseys—fudged up Zimmerman's and teammate Adam Dunn's jerseys during the same game.

    The company released an apology for the mistake, and one of the jerseys was actually auctioned off for charity, so it all ended just fine.

Flavia Zoccari

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    Rex Features

    Although most of these malfunctions were taken with good humor, this one with Italian swimmer Flavia Zoccari actually is pretty sad.

    That's because officials actually disqualified her from competing after she tore her swimsuit before a championship match.

    The swimsuit was already under some controversy for giving swimmers an unfair advantage, but it did the exact opposite to poor Flavia.

Chris Wondolowski

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    Don Ryan

    Although no one ever wants their name misspelled—especially on the back of a uniform—maybe U.S. soccer player Chris Wondolowski should consider it more often.

    After his name was slightly off in a Gold Cup match last year against Belize, all he did was go out and record a hat trick in the 6-1 win.

    Maybe he really should change his name.

Gillian Cooke

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    Like a few others on this list, Gillian Cooke found out that stretching and getting loose before a race can be a bad idea.

    After doing so before a bobsled event in 2010, Cooke sliced her pants right down the seam, exposing her booty for all to see.

    With the cameras catching it in full view and the event crew unwilling to bother her before the run, Gillian continued to rip it up in the bobsled.

Devin Hester

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    Former Chicago Bears kick/punt returner and wide receiver Devin Hester can be a tricky guy to take down.

    While most defenders try to push him around whenever they can actually get a hand on him, one Philadelphia Eagles cornerback figured he'd just pants him in order to bring him to the ground.

    It did work—but, unfortunately, it showed viewers what a full moon looked like in the process.

Junior Lake

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    Heading out with friends or colleagues wearing the same thing is always a bad move—except when it comes to sports, as teammates are required to wear identical uniforms.

    So this is a reminder to all athletes out there—triple-check that what you have on matches other guys in the locker room.

    Unfortunately, Chicago Cubs outfielder Junior Lake didn't do that and trotted out wearing an alternate jersey during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates last week.

Steve Lyons

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    One of the more famous wardrobe malfunctions in sports, former MLB player Steve Lyons seemed to forget where he was for a hot second.

    Dusting himself off after a headfirst slide, Lyons wanted to make sure he got all the dirt off of him—so he preceded to drop his pants in front of a packed stadium and TV cameras, showing his preference regarding boxers or briefs.

    Way to go, man.

Lingerie Football League

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    It's women wearing lingerie and tackling each other. What the hell did people expect would happen during the Lingerie Football League games?

    While these ladies wear pads and a helmet, the only thing separating their bare skin is a thin piece of underwear—which will occasionally get pulled down in the heat of battle.

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